How to Write a Reference

Most Commonly Used Style Sheets at USciences

Which one should you choose? Check with your instructor.
Scientists, humanities scholars, and social scientists all use a different set of rules. These rules are called "style sheets."

Scholars in the humanities use either Turabian or MLA. Scientists and social scientists use different styles. See the examples below of which use one single-authored article in a continuously-paged paper journal to demonstrate numerous citation styles.

American Chemical Society (ACS)
The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication provides guidance on all aspects of preparing and disseminating scientific articles and other publications.  For information on citing sources, section 4.3, References.
Example: Dumpty, H. Can Falls Be Prevented? J. Ovoid Stud. 1998, 55 (1), 8-13. DOI: 00.0000/dumpty47.

American Institue of Physics (AIP)
Example: H. Dumpty, J. Ovoid Stud. 55, 8 (1998).
More examples: electronic and paper sources.

American Medical Association (AMA)
AMA Manual of Style, 11th ed., is available online to several users at a time.  If you see a message that the simultaneous user limit has been exceeded, no more users may log on. Please wait and try again later.  
Example:  Dumpty HT. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Stud. 1998;55(1):8-13.  doi:00.0000/dumpty47

American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA Publication Manual, 7th edition is available on Reserve at the Circulation Desk. Its website with examples and other guidance can be found here.
Example: Dumpty, H.T. (2015). Can falls be prevented? Journal of Ovoid Studies, 55 (1), 8-13.

Citing Medicine (National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Citing Medicine, 2nd edition is available free online.
Example: Dumpty HT. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Stud. 1998 Jan;55(1):8-13.
Setting Up Write ‘n Cite in Microsoft Word on a PC—in Words and PicturesDownload A Guide to Website and Webpage Citations Using Citing Medicine (a handout produced by the J.W. England Library).

Council of Science Editors (CSE)
Example: Dumpty HT. 1998. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Studies. 55(1):8-13.
More examples: electronic and paper sources.

Modern Language Association (MLA)
Example: Dumpty, Hum T. "Can Falls Be Prevented?" Journal of Ovoid Studies 55.1 (1998): 8-13.
More examples: electronic and paper sources.

Need help creating a reference? Use Ask A Librarian.

Looking for the style a particular journal uses? Check here for links to the "Instructions to Authors" from 3500 journals.

Applications for Reference Management

RefWorks is the library's supported reference management application for creating bibliographies. RefWorks can take a reference from PubMed or other databases and automatically put in the citation style of your choice. RefWorks users can build a bibliography of citations, and can find the full text of articles from the library's collection by clicking the "Check for Full Text USciences" icon. Tutorials are included on the RefWorks site to help you get started using this useful tool.

New Users (New RefWorks):

  • Because RefWorks is licensed by the library for use by USciences users, first-time users must create their own unique account and password to access RefWorks. Look for the "Create account" link on the New RefWorks homepage.
  • Your email address and RefWorks password are used to access RefWorks both on and off-campus.

Pre-existing Users ("legacy" RefWorks):

  • Users whose RefWorks accounts were created prior to July 2016 may continue to login to "legacy" RefWorks. Users may migrate their accounts to New RefWorks at any time by choosing the "Move to the newest version of RefWorks from ProQuest" link when logged into "legacy" RefWorks, and then following these steps.
  • If you choose to download Refworks' "Write-N-Cite" plugin for MS Word (available for PC and Mac), you may be prompted to enter a "group code" when installing the "Write-N-Cite" plugin. Our group code is: RWUSciPhil
  • Setting Up Write ‘n Cite in Microsoft Word on a PC—in Words and PicturesPC users can refer to our guide to downloading and installing the RefWorks "Write ‘n Cite" plugin for Microsoft Word.


Other Reference Management Applications
Other applications are also available, such as Zotero (free of charge) and Endnote. These applications can also allow users to locate and download the full text of articles from the library's collection, though this feature must be manually enabled. To enable additional functionality, users generally need to provide two URL's: one is often referred to as a "link resolver URL" or "link resolver base URL", and the second is often called an "authentication" or "EZproxy URL". The associated URL's for J.W. England Library are below.

Link Resolver Base URL:

"Authentication" or "EZproxy URL":

(These URL's are provided to aid in the setup of reference management applications; they are not active links.)

Page last updated: 12/09/19

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